Write Like an Australian - A Lesson in Fast-Paced Writing

If you’re a non-Australian looking for a good lesson in fast-paced writing, then you need look no further than Australia.

One of the first things I noticed about Australian language and speaking, besides the actual accent, is the habit of the majority of Australians to interrupt. But far from simply being a very rude country, it’s actually the way of the language.

Maybe it’s because Americans have guns, so if you piss them off you could get shot, but Australians don’t place such a high importance on waiting until a person is completely finished speaking. Instead, if they think they know what you are going to say, where you are going with the conversation, or even if something relevant has popped into their minds, they won’t hesitate to speak up.

I’ve puzzled over this for a while and come to the conclusion that Australians place more importance in the ideas and messages being conveyed rather than the actual words.

How does this help you with your writing?

If what you’re working on is starting to turn yawn-inspiring, take a lesson from Australians; don’t be afraid to interrupt your characters. Be it their inner monologues, discussions with other characters, or even switching perspectives from one chapter to another. Don’t place the ultimate importance on what they are saying or thinking.

Don’t be polite to your characters.

If you want to try this out in exercise form first, take two characters and write a scene (or more) consisting of interruptions galore. Just remember that moderation is usually a good thing.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Damn. I ought to move there, then. I interrupt all the time. Just ask the Tour Manager. ... and wait for me to interrupt him. Again.

JM said...

You'd probably get along fine with my husband. :)